In the fall of 2021, the BASIS Independent Manhattan Upper School campus building is set to open, which will continue our students’ academic journeys through a complete high school experience. As our rising grade 10 students get closer to their Senior Year, we benefit greatly from a relationship with our sister campus, BASIS Independent Brooklyn, and use them as a model of what future success will look like for us. Not only that, but also we like the collaboration that can benefit all of our students. A very good example of this synergy can be found in a Senior Project conducted by Zihan S. (Class of 2021, BASIS Independent Brooklyn).
First, it is imperative to explain the Senior Project because it is a unique experience for students at BASIS Curriculum Schools where they apply their knowledge in a real-life context. During their last trimester of high school, eligible seniors design a research question based on a topic of interest and then go on a path of discovery through internships, lab research, or fieldwork, as well as through the guidance of internal and external advisors, culminating in a final presentation that answers their original question.
Zihan recollects hearing about the Senior Project as early as grade 10, “Starting in March, it seemed like the seniors disappeared, but that wasn’t the case. They were doing research and working hard at onsite locations outside of school.” By the time he reached grade 11, Zihan planned to do a Senior Project with an onsite internship but when it came time to map that out, the pandemic changed his course. During the lockdown, Zihan and his friends saw a rise in e-commerce and decided to build a website for people to create their own, small e-commerce platforms. Through this experiment, he discovered a passion for e-commerce and went from there.
First, Zihan was paired with an advisor who had a background in the real estate business and introduced that as an added angle to his research project. Then, the network relationship came into play and Zihan was presented with the opportunity to have an onsite experience during a time when a lot of other people had to settle for virtual options. Both BASIS Independent Brooklyn and Manhattan are opening new campus buildings in the fall of 2021 and that meant Zihan could meet more people working on current construction projects.
This real estate component put Zihan in a hard hat, on location, and sitting in on team meetings, which showed him "how people actually work together in a real-life job situation." In addition, because he is a BASIS Independent School student, Zihan said that he felt more comfortable on-site and was able to more readily ask questions and extract information for his project.
One more thing to note, Zihan has had an inside view that most people in our community haven't even been privy to yet. So, when asked about what he thought our students would like to hear about the future campus, he said, "I'm definitely jealous. The campus looks so nice! The team talked about how the location was super important and the setting is well picked out, with very easy access to transportation. It looks like a good hang-out campus with a great view and it's really cool you get to go across the street and use Chelsea Piers."
Through connection, learning from others, and seizing an opportunity to utilize our school network, Zihan discovered that what you plan for isn't always the way things will work out, nor for the best. Sometimes you have to go through uncertainty and then change directions to grow and learn. Building upon the foundation of a BASIS Curriculum School's education, the Senior Project takes learning through doing to a new level of discovery through curiosity.
You can visit Zihan's blog and read more about his project here: How has the Rise of Ecommerce Business Changed Commercial Real Estate Law Practices in Large US Cities?
If you would like to learn more about our program, you are invited to attend one of our upcoming information sessions